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At the races

Dupuy settles in after trading silks for suit

Dupuy settles in after trading silks for suit

August 12, 2002

Former Charles Town-based jockey Larry Dupuy was part of West Virginia thoroughbred horse racing history Saturday at Mountaineer Race Track & Gaming Resort in Chester, W.Va.

The 48-year-old Dupuy is a steward at the track which hosted the Grade III, $600,000 West Virginia Derby.

It was the richest race card ever staged at any West Virginia racetrack (more than $1.2 million) and the richest race ever at any track in the state.

Following a 29-year racing career, Dupuy decided to pursue the vacated stewards position in the Northern Panhandle when it opened in the fall of 2000.

"It was perfect timing," Dupuy said. "I was injured at the time and I saw that the stewards job was available. I went up there for an interview and was selected."

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In the fall of 2000, Dupuy was recovering from his latest setback - two cracked veterbrae sustained from being thrown from a horse prior to a race at the Charles Town on June 18, 2000.

The three stewards at Mountaineer Resort are Dupuy, Jim O'Brien and Steve Kourpas.

Dupuy, who attended a stewards accreditation school in Louisville, Ky., in 1996, started his stewards career at Charles Town on Oct. 1, 2000 and officially moved to join Mountaineer Resort staff in November, 2000.

"I like it here," Dupuy said. "We work split shifts, taking entries and conducting hearings in the mornings and we currently race five nights a week."

Dupuy said his experience as a former jockey helps him the stewards role.

"I've been in their position before and I can relate to their problems and concerns," Dupuy said.

The New Cumberland, W.Va., resident says times have changed.

"There's more money in the game than ever before and more money means more problems and concerns which need addressed," Dupuy said.

The West Virginia Derby attrracted horses from New York, California, Kentucky, Florida and Delaware as well as nationally acclaimed jockeys Jerry Bailey, Pat Day and Jorge Chavez.

The trio rode at the Saratoga (N.Y.) earlier Saturday before hopping on a plane to West Virginia.

Huff goes global

Sam Huff, president of the West Virginia Breeders Classics, Inc., has traveled extensively but truly enjoyed his trip last week to Osaka, Japan.

"A long plane ride (14 hours) but it was wonderful experience," said Huff, a broadcaster for the Washington Redskins radio network. "The Japanese people treated us well."

Huff, admitting neither he nor broadcast partner Sonny Jurgensen are the greatest tourists in the world, visited an old castle where the movie Shogun was filmed.

"I was amazed at the size of the stones they put around that castle," Huff said. "They must have been linemen."

Huff was impressed with the Redskins' effort against the San Francisco 49ers.

"(New head coach Steve) Spurrier calls it the 'pitch-and-catch' and the offense looked strong," Huff said. Back at home

Maryland steward Phil Grove is back at work at the Laurel Park after bypassing the recent special session at Colonial Downs in New Kent, Va.

"The stewards have the option of working or not working the Colonial Downs meet and I decided to not work," Grove said. "It's nice to have a couple of weeks off."

The Colonial Downs meet went from June 21 through July 23.

Early birds railbirds

The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) has set the fields for this weekend's Pool Two of the Breeders' Cup Future Bet.

Races open for wagering (which ends today) are the John Deere Breeders' Cup Turf, the Breeders' Cup Mile and the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf.

The Future Bet is a special wager that challenges fans to select in advance the winners of Oct. 26 Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships races, to be held at the Arlington Park in Illinois.

In each of the three races - all grass events - available for wagering, the pari-mutuel field has been listed as the morning line favorite.

All wagering will be win-only with a minimum wager amount of $2.00. At the conclusion of wagering today, odds for all entries become final. No refunds are made on horses that do not ultimately compete in their designated races.

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